Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on his arrival at the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov skipped Friday's scheduled meetings with his G20 counterparts in Bali after a flood of Western statements condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow.
Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for the first time since the war in Ukraine began in February.
Indonesia, which strives to maintain a position of neutrality as the host country of the G20, has from the opening called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine, underlining its serious consequences in the world.
What we have already heard today is a major choir from around the world, not just the United States for […] ;[Russian] aggression stops, Antony Blinken told the press.
It is our responsibility to end the war as soon as possible and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield, said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in the presence of Sergei Lavrov .
“[The effect of war] is felt around the world, on food , energy and budgets. And as always, poor and developing countries are the most affected.
— Retno Marsudi, Indonesian Foreign Minister
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali .
Sergei Lavrov then left the morning session when his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock criticized Moscow over the war in Ukraine, diplomats say.
According to what several diplomats told AFP, Mr. Lavrov was also absent from a session during which the Ukrainian Foreign Minister , Dmytro Kuleba, was speaking online, as well as when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia.
Antony Blinken, moreover, refused to meet his Russian counterpart separately and denounced Russia's responsibility for the world food and energy crises, asking Moscow to authorize the exit of cereals from Ukraine.
In response, the Russian foreign minister said he will not run after Washington for talks.
Sergei Lavrov denounced the approach of Western countries to use the G20 arena for anything other than a forum discussing major global issues .
“Our Western partners sought to avoid talking about global economic issues. As soon as they spoke, they almost immediately launched into a frenzied criticism of Russia over the situation in Ukraine, calling us aggressors.
—Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister
For his part, Antony Blinken met with French and German ministers and a British representative to discuss this unjustifiable and unprovoked war, the State Department said in a statement.
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The United States, supported by some of its Western allies, had called for Russia to be excluded from international forums.
But Indonesia, concerned about its neutrality, had confirmed its invitation to the Russian Foreign Minister while also inviting his Ukrainian counterpart.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked participants to remember the 344 families who lost their children listening to Russian lies.
“The minister of the country responsible for their deaths is before you today to share his thoughts on how Russia views cooperation in our globalized world.
—Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
The meeting was further clouded by news of the attack that claimed the life of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an election rally in his country.
This attack on a longtime US ally is a very sad moment, Antony Blinken said, as Mr Abe's death was yet to be announced , but was in serious condition.
This G20 is a prelude to the summit of heads of state to be held on the Indonesian island in November and which was to be devoted to the means of ensuring global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The invasion of Ukraine, however, changed priorities by bringing together Westerners to denounce the Russian offensive, and sent food prices soaring and energy.
There will be no group photo at the end of the tense meeting, contrary to tradition, a clarified an Indonesian official.
The front of the Western allies, however, has been damaged by the hasty departure of the head of British diplomacy, Liz Truss, after the announcement of the resignation of Boris Johnson as leader of the British Conservative Party.
< p class="e-p">She left the island of Bali on Friday morning, a British embassy official confirmed to AFP.
US Secretary of State Blinken is also expected to try to reopen dialogue with Beijing during talks with his counterpart Wang Yi, scheduled for Saturday, after months of tension over several issues, including that of Taiwan.
The two officials will discuss the safeguards around the bilateral relations under high tension, but also look into the possibilities of cooperation, said a US official for the ;East Asia.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had met his h Russian omologue for Ukrainian-dominated discussions.